Steady Matthews Remains Premier Offensive Line Prospect

Posted Apr 18, 2014

Through the meteoric rise of Greg Robinson, the fluctuating Taylor Lewan, and the rise and fall of numerous other offensive line prospects, Texas A&M tackle Jake Matthews has been a notable exception from the volatility among offensive linemen on draft boards.

Matthews served as a four-year stalwart for an Aggies offense that totaled just under 7,000 yards from scrimmage last fall. He made his first appearance at left tackle last fall after starting at right tackle for the previous three seasons. Matthews asserted his position among his position’s elite prospects while speaking to media both at his Pro Day and at the NFL Combine in February.

“I think I’m the best tackle out here,” Matthews said a day before performing before coaches and scouts at the Combine.

Matthews holds a strong tie to the Rams organization, as the son of Hall of Fame lineman Bruce Matthews, who played for current Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher while with the Tennessee Titans. The younger Matthews referenced that relationship briefly while at the Combine, and stated he would embrace the opportunity to play for Fisher.

The 6’5”, 305-pound Matthews has been equally effective in both the pass and run game, and while he may not possess the raw strength or athleticism of his first-round contemporaries, Matthews represents likely the most technically sound this year’s class of offensive linemen.

Following a strong showing at the NFL Combine, Matthews impressed at his Pro Day on March 5, where he worked out for a group of coaches and scouts that included Rams offensive line coach Paul Boudreau.

“I definitely don’t think I’m at my peak,” Matthews said. “I think there’s a lot of things I can get better at. All of those things are motivating me, and I just want to prove that I am the best tackle here.”

Matthews has experience playing at both tackle positions, but has stated he is now more comfortable at left tackle. He has consistently been projected as a top-10 pick in May, and could be selected as high as second overall, if the Rams choose to select a tackle with their first of two first-round selections. In a recent mock draft of five panelists, Matthews was selected no later than 12th overall.

With Jake Long expected to return from ACL surgery, Matthews could project as a candidate at right tackle for the Rams in 2014, a position that was manned by Joe Barksdale for the majority of the 2013 season.